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Federal regulators have cleared Sprint Corp.’s proposed acquisition of affiliate U.S. Unwired Inc., Sprint said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday. The Federal Trade Commission said it has agreed to “early termination” of its review of the $1.3 billion deal without requiring any changes. Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint said on July 11 that it planned to buy all outstanding shares of Lake Charles, La.-based U.S. Unwired for $6.25 each. As part of the deal, Sprint would also assume $266 million of U.S. Unwired’s debt. Sprint said Tuesday in SEC filings that shareholders with 27 percent of the company’s stock have agreed to tender their shares in the deal. U.S. Unwired sells Sprint-branded services in nine southern states and serves 500,000 subscribers. It has 600 employees and reported 2004 revenues of $408 million. The purchase would end a legal battle between the parent and affiliate companies, specifically stopping U.S. Unwired’s request for a court injunction to halt Sprint’s pending acquisition of Nextel Communications Inc. Several other Sprint affiliates have also filed suit, claiming the Nextel merger would allow Sprint to compete with them in their territories, violating exclusivity agreements they worked out in the 1990s. Two of those affiliates — iPCS Wireless Inc. and UbiquiTel Inc. — have worked out agreements with Sprint that set aside their litigation in return for promises that Sprint won’t sell Nextel services in their territories or share their internal information Sprint’s marketing staff. Shares of Sprint fell 40 cents to close at $26.48 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, near the high end of a 52-week range of $17.80 to $27.08. U.S. Unwired shares rose 2 cents to close at $6.24 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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